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Old Visions for the Field
Joe Scherrman here, we can change this sign to say, "SOLD!" to Go the Distance, LLC.
There have been many different suggestions about what to do with the field. Many of these ideas were floating around since the days when the field's owners were hosting the Ghost Players during monthly games at the Field of Dreams.
Below is a sampling of a few of the ideas we have heard and/or had.
A Fan-based Non-profit?
After the New York Times story about the Field of Dreams being for sale, I put a blurb in the Ghost Player newsletter. I made the remark that if 3,000 of us fans threw in $2,000 each we could buy the place. To my surprise, in just a few days, more than 70 people responded.
One person said we could organize like the Green Bay Packers. Oddly enough, a few of the Ghost Players and I were going to Green Bay to receive a Vince Lombardi award for the movie "Ghost Player: Relive the Magic".
Mark Murphy, President/CEO of the Green Bay Packers and Tomas Kunkle president of St. Norbert College presented the award. I got a chance to talk with Mark Murphy. Sparing all the details, he said it was possible, but $150,000 wasn't going to do it. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dealings would eat that money up for breakfast.
A State Park?
One fine summer day, I received a call from Senator Tom Handcock. He asked if I would join him and Mary Cownie the new director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs in a conversation about the Field of Dreams. We met at the movie site and discussed different ideas and the impact the site has had on the arts and culture of the State. She made it clear to me the State of Iowa would do whatever they could to help preserve the site but also made it clear to me that the State was not be in a position to buy the site and run it like a State Park.
I got together a group of friends to discuss this possibility. They had fantastic ideas but didn't want to stick any money into a business plan. So I hired my friend Suzie Wright, a talented gal who helped me publish the Ghost Player companion book, "Travels With Ghosts and Other Tales". Suzie also helps publish the Ghost Player Newsletter and articles for the Website: www.ghostplayer.us. We spent a lot of time gathering the ideas from that group and from the discussions over all the years with the Ghost Players. I also worked with Steve Horman Counselor/Consultant at Northeast Iowa Small Business Development Center in Dubuque and went to an entrepreneurial group in Cedar Rapids.
You can read the draft of the business plan on the Ghost Player website. You will see the similarities to the Stillman's All-Star Baseball Heaven plans. Great minds think alike.
We believe they are so similar because the concept of getting more kids playing baseball in the area is a great one. We can't wait for these visions to come true.